By Sam Nussey and Pei Li
TOKYO/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Japan’s Nintendo Co said on Wednesday it will officially launch its Switch gaming console in mainland China on Dec. 10 priced at 2,099 yuan ($298), with local partner Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Pre-orders for the console began at noon (0400 GMT) on Wednesday, opening a major new front in Nintendo’s drive to expand the reach of the home-portable Switch device beyond its core fanbase as it heads into the year-end shopping season.
The retail price for the launch, which aims to establish Nintendo’s control over China’s grey market for the device, includes popular game New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe and a one-year warranty. The pricing is in line with countries such as Japan and the United States.
Nintendo plans to release hit titles Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario Odyssey in China in the next few weeks, with a launch for its handheld-only Switch Lite device, which went on sale worldwide in September, also being prepared for that country.
(Reporting by Sam Nussey in Tokyo and Pei Li in Shanghai; Additional reporting by Huizhong Wu, Lusha Zhang and Se Young Lee; Editing by Kim Coghill and Muralikumar Anantharaman)